Dog Hiccups: It is believed that it hiccups when a dog swallows too much air. This can happen if dogs eat or drink quickly, experience stress, engage in heavy play, become agitated, and have some disturbed or caustic breathing. Severe anxiety or rapid breathing can also cause a dog’s diaphragm.
Here is some information about dog hiccups, what happens when a dog has hiccups, why dogs have them and when you should be concerned about them.
What are dog and puppy hiccups?
A rapid diaphragm contraction causes hiccups in dogs and puppies. The diaphragm is a strong muscle in dogs. That separates a dog’s chest cavity from its abdomen.
Hiccups are minor spasms that can cause light movements and a loud “hitch” noise. Hiccups are involuntary, and this reflex causes contraction of the diaphragm, followed by the closure of the vocal cords (especially the glottis), resulting in a “hitch” sound. This diaphragm contraction (or myoclonic jerk) can repeat several times per minute.
Why do dogs hiccups?
Unfortunately, vet researchers don’t know why humans or dogs get hiccups. One theory is that hiccups are a left-over mechanism from when we were developing in utero. Fetal hiccups have been documented in several species. Some scientists believe that hiccups in the womb may be a passive test of the breathing muscles.
It is believed that when a dog swallows too much air, it hiccups. This can happen if dogs eat or drink quickly, experience stress, engage in heavy play, become agitated, and have some disturbed or caustic breathing. Rapid breathing or Severe anxiety can also cause a dog’s diaphragm.
Why do puppies have hiccups?
A puppy is more prone to hiccups than an adult dog. This is because they consume more air due to their higher exertion and stimulation. Puppies may also start hiccuping when tired, cold, or excited.
Another possibility is that puppies have weak muscles. Their bodies are not fully mature, making them prone to muscle contractions. It is usual for a puppy to have hiccups, even daily, as long as they only last a few minutes and are not accompanied by salivation, lethargy, cough/wheezing, or difficulty swallowing.
Do Hiccups Hurt Dogs?
Although they can’t talk to us, we can tell from the dog’s reactions that hiccups don’t hurt. They can get annoying if left on for a long time. But during these contractions, the dog remains calm, with no signs of tension, anxiety, or pain. In rare cases, hiccups may last for only a few seconds to hours, but they usually do not require treatment.
What causes dog hiccups?
Common causes of dog hiccups include:
Spicy, hot, or cold food
Other serious underlying issues
All of these factors will cause typical dog hiccups. However, in rare circumstances, these hiccups can be caused by other underlying severe issues such as:
If a dog’s hiccups last for more than an hour and cause irregular or difficult breathing, it is good to take him to the vet. If possible, try to record the incident, as this will help your vet get a clearer picture of the severity of your dog’s condition.
How to get rid of dog hiccups
Typical hiccups usually last about 10 to 15 minutes to an hour. Although it is not a cause for immediate concern, you still want to eliminate it.
So how do you get rid of dog hiccups? Before doing anything else, always consider why the hiccups occurred in the first place—knowing what triggered it will inform you what to do next.
If your dog has accidentally eaten spicy food, give them casein-rich milk. Casein is a protein that breaks down the capsaicin in spicy dishes that irritate the diaphragm.
Calm them down
Try relaxing your dog by lying down and massaging his belly while dealing with hiccups. This can slow down their breathing pattern and bring it to a steady rhythm. If your dog is dealing with a stressor such as separation anxiety, you can do the same thing. However, you may want to train your dog to manage their separation anxiety to reduce the incidence of their hiccups.
Rice, cereal, and bread
Another possible cure for dog hiccups is to feed your dog foods such as rice, cereals, and pieces of bread. These can provide relief from hiccups as they can cause bloating and distention in the abdomen. This puts pressure on the diaphragm to prevent hiccups from occurring.
If the cause of the hiccups is irritation in the diaphragm, give your dog something cold to drink. It can also restore their regular breathing pattern and lower their temperature if they are panting a lot due to heat or exhaustion.
Another effective way to calm a dog down and get their breathing patterns back to an average level is by giving them, liquid sweets. Honey or maple syrup are good choices because their sweetness can distract your dog from stress and overwork.
Do not give them solid sweets. Since dog hiccups are involuntary, solid food can lead to suffocation. Also, please don’t give them sugar-free products because they contain xylitol, which can be dangerous and fatal for your dog.
Slow feeder dog bowls
Try using a slow-feeder dog bowl to prevent your dog from eating too quickly. This will help them control their food intake and avoid gaining extra pounds, which can cause many problems of their own.
When Should You Worry About Dog Hiccups?
Dogs’ hiccups usually go away on their own. In some rare cases, they can be a sign of a more serious medical problem such as:
foreign body ingestion
nausea and upset stomach
Take your dog to the pet vet as soon as possible if:
hiccups lasting more than a few hours
your dog is in pain
A dog is not eating or drinking
A dog is drooling excessively
dog starts vomiting
Hiccups turn into wheezing sounds
Your dog is having difficulty breathing
When to call your veto for Dog Hiccups
As mentioned earlier, hiccups lasting up to an hour can signify various health problems. Consult your vet once the hiccups do not stop or disappear to protect your dog from further health complications.